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2020 senate race: Frank Artiles secret sham

Frank Artiles may have arranged a fictional candidate for 2020 senate race

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Frank Artiles, suspected of secretly arranging a fictional candidate to run in the 2020 state senate race. On Thursday, he surrendered to Miami-Dade country jail to face offensive campaign finance charges. Frank Artiles was a former state Senator. He was seen arriving at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center with his lawyer.

After the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Public Corruption Task Force executed a search warrant at his Palmetto Bay house, Frank Artiles decided to surrender. On Thursday afternoon, authorities are expected to announce details of the charges at a press conference.

Frank Artiles is facing several charges, including felony charges for making illegal contributions and false swearing in connection to the election, according to a copy of the arrest warrant. Prosecutors say Artiles offered Rodriguez $50,000 to run in the race to “siphon votes from the incumbent,” Democrat Jose Javier Rodriguez. Half was to be paid during the election and the rest after the election, Rodriguez told prosecutors. The warrant states that the actual amount paid by Artiles to Alex Rodriguez before and after the election totaled $44,708.03.

The sham candidate, Alex Rodriguez of Delray Beach, is also facing criminal charges related to the District 37 Senate campaign in Miami-Dade.

The investigation focused on Frank Artiles’ involvement with a longtime acquaintance named Alexis Pedro Rodriguez, an auto-parts dealer who last year entered a senate race to represent District 37, a large swath that includes downtown Miami, Coral Gables, and Pinecrest.

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The race pitted former TV personality Ileana Garcia, a Republican, against incumbent Jose Javier Rodriguez, a Democrat. Alex Rodriguez ran as an independent, did zero campaignings,s and took no calls from the media before the Nov. 3 election. But his candidacy was bolstered by deceptive political mail advertisements paid for by a dark money group whose address is a UPS store in Atlanta.

Jose Javier Rodriguez lost by just 32 votes after a three-day recount, and Alex Rodriguez’s presence on the ballot was widely seen as a political ploy to confuse voters because of their shared last names and the dark money-sponsored political mailers.

The sham candidate, Alex Rodriguez of Delray Beach, is also facing criminal charges related to the District 37 Senate campaign in Miami-Dade.

The probe focused on Artiles’ involvement with a longtime acquaintance named Alexis Pedro Rodriguez, an auto-parts dealer who last year entered a senate race to represent District 37, a large swath that includes downtown Miami, Coral Gables, and Pinecrest.

The race pitted former TV personality Ileana Garcia, a Republican, against incumbent Jose Javier Rodriguez, a Democrat. Alex Rodriguez ran as an independent, did zero campaigning,s and took no calls from the media before the Nov. 3 election. But his candidacy was bolstered by deceptive political mail advertisements paid for by a dark money group whose address is a UPS store in Atlanta.

Jose Javier Rodriguez lost by just 32 votes after a three-day recount, and Alex Rodriguez’s presence on the ballot was widely seen as a political ploy to confuse voters because of their shared last names and the dark money-sponsored political mailers.

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Written by Kelly Smith

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